The Magnus Archives Roleplaying Game

The Magnus Archives Roleplaying Game

The tabletop roleplaying game based on the hit horror podcast The Magnus Archives.
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Then my gaze focused back on the thing in his hands, that dead, curling lump of clay, and I watched it move. It coiled around, through its own face, and flailed its long, distorted fins in desperate pained movements. It made a noise that sounded like a scream heard through water and stretched out towards my mouth, which I’ll admit was hanging open in horror. If I hadn’t screamed and fallen backwards, I am sure the thing would have dived down my throat. The Magnus Archives - Episode 126, "Sculptor’s Tool". Statement Begins The Magnus Archives is an award-winning horror fiction anthology podcast examining what lurks in the archives of the Magnus Institute, an organisation dedicated to researching the esoteric and the weird. It follows the actions of head archivist Jonathan Sims as he attempts to bring a seemingly neglected collection of supernatural statements up to date, converting them to audio and supplementing them with follow-up work from his small but dedicated team. Individually, these stories—these “statements”—are unsettling. Together they begin to form a picture that is truly horrifying because as they look into the depths of the archives, something starts to look back… And now, finally, you can enter the archives yourself as a player or as a GM, investigating the supernatural horrors found in the podcast, or those you create on your own. Work alongside Jonathan and Martin, Basira, Daisy, and the rest of the staff. Encounter the NotThem, the Anglerfish, or the Man Upon the Stair. Learn the truth of the books of Jurgen Leitner, the coffin that is also a pit, and The People’s Church of the Divine Host.

What Is The Magnus Archives?

In The Magnus Archives Roleplaying Game, you play a member of an investigative team researching reports of supernatural activity. For 200 years, the Magnus Institute has quietly collected statements from people of all walks of life, detailing their personal experiences with the supernatural, and you’re part of that organization or one very much like it.

Your records are filled with disparate statements of bizarre occurrences—usually with a very chilling edge. Statements discuss people (or creatures?) such as an odd figure that beckons drunken pubgoers into an alleyway—never to be seen again; items like a meat grinder that somehow compels its users to merrily feed it their own limbs; events like a late-night subway trip in which the train burrowed itself into the earth, all but crushing its lone occupant.

And books with extraordinary power, such as The Boneturner’s Tale, which seems to give one who reads it the grisly power to rearrange the bones of others. An astonishing number of these books seem to trace back to a particular private library, owned by the enigmatic Jurgen Leitner.

Your organization is dedicated to cataloging and researching these incidents—not fighting or confronting the supernatural. But it’s becoming clear these events aren’t as disparate as they first appear. There are connections between them—connections that suggest existential dangers to the world as we know it. 

How will you combat them, when simply coming to understand these dark forces threatens to bring you under their influence?

If you're new to The Magnus Archives, you'll get a great introduction with Episode One of the podcast.

A Different Kind of Existential Horror

The threats in The Magnus Archives Roleplaying Game start small, but lead big places. Investigations initially focus on singular events—weird, creepy, and even dangerous, but also minor and localized. A real estate agent found herself trapped in an endless corridor behind a door that hadn’t been there before. A young man took possession of a coffin from which weird sounds emerged. Another man had an encounter with what seemed to be a vampire.

(Speaking of vampires, The Magnus Archives offers a fresh take on the supernatural. The stories—and your adventures—are filled with both enigmatic, original concepts, and recognizable elements that play out in cool and unexpected ways.)

Working together at the Magnus Institute, or a similar organization, brings the party together (though characters may have different backgrounds, perhaps as law enforcement, or amateur supernatural sleuths, that bring them into the fold). The PCs have a common purpose from the start.

The Magnus Archives Roleplaying Game
really shines as your campaign builds. Connections form between the individual adventures, and other records in the archives, involving the PCs with powerful Entities that underlie the strange events. At the same time, the characters are affected by their investigations. Ultimately, these effects can damage the PCs, or give them important advantages for facing the Entities—it’s up to the players to find a balance between the rewards and the very perilous risks…

Level Autographed Limited Deluxe Edition with Reversible Dust Jacket Standard edition in print and PDF Leitner bookplates Bundle of 12 A Guest for Mr. Spider in print Player’s Guide in print and PDF Character Portfolios in print and PDF Bundle of 5 GM’s Campaign Journal in print and PDF Exclusive Dice Set with Book Safe Presentation Box Early access and playtest Product mockups are subject to change. Stretch goals: $700K unlocked XP Deck. $950K File folders. $1.2M Deluxe book upgrade. $1.4M More investigations. $1.55M Playmat. $1.7M Audio assets. $1.85M Prop set. $2M Upgrades plus the Archivist reads!
Scroll down for details on these unique and beautiful items. The Investigative Team pledge level outfits your entire gaming group for an immersive and chilling The Magnus Archives experience. If you're looking for the best all-in deal that includes autographs, early access, and an actual Leitner book, upgrade to the Entity pledge level for only $150 more.


This game is based on the entirety—all five seasons—of The Magnus Archives podcast. For those of you who have experienced every episode, you know that there are secrets unveiled all the way up to the very end. Speaking of which…

Skip This Section If You Want to Avoid Spoilers!

If you’ve listened all the way up through the end of the podcast, you know that all the supernatural and esoteric happenings are due to the entities of fear, and this game goes into this in depth. Moreover, you know that in the universe of the podcast, the entities are no longer present, thanks to the sacrifices made by Jon, Martin, and the rest of the team. So for the game, we have decided that each GM will create their own reality that has been exposed to the freed entities. That means you’re free to use anything from the podcast, and free to change anything you wish. Is the Magnus Archive in London or does it lie elsewhere (perhaps with a different name and history)? Is Jonathan Sims the head archivist, or is it someone else—even a PC? The game will provide all the guidance you need to create a setting and a campaign that mirrors as much or as little of the podcast as you want.



The Magnus Archives Roleplaying Game is a hefty hardcover book. It contains the full rules of the game, a detailed character creation system, lots of game advice, a comprehensive look at the characters, artefacts, and entities of The Magnus Archives, and entire adventures (called investigations, instigated by statements) ready to play.

It's also loaded with informative lore and great art that every fan of The Magnus Archives is going to love, even if you never sit down to play.

The Magnus Archives Roleplaying Game contains: fast, flexible character generation rules; smooth, narrative game system; loads of lore; Artefacts Storage department; creepy adversaries and terrifying entities; tons of advice for running an evocative campaign; stunning art; downloadable audio files.

The Cypher System is renowned for its flexibility, narrative focus, and fast pace. It’s the perfect system for a story- and character-oriented campaign. And its mechanics are easily adapted to the needs of a particular genre or style of play. The Magnus Archives Roleplaying Game has the Cypher System at its core, specifically tailored to portray the horror and the action of The Magnus Archives.

You’ll find changes to the damage system, new ways characters can advance, and special mechanics that escalate the tension as your adventure progresses. And an innovative process for creating the witness statements at the root of each adventure—a process that deeply invests the entire gaming group into the investigations.

And in particular, a whole new set of mechanics portraying the fear and stress of these stories is woven throughout every aspect of the game. Stress not only measures the toll of these terrible encounters, but can translate, over time, into the remarkable changes to a character. Those crossing paths with the entities of this setting come away psychically scarred, but also sometimes with mysterious, supernatural abilities. Using such abilities might save your life, but it might also send you further into the clutches of the entities at the heart of such powers. A character might even eventually become an avatar of one of the Entities… but is that a good thing?

You’ll have to discover that for yourself.

Download the Primer

Like most tabletop roleplaying games, this game is played with and in the shared imaginations of a group. One player takes on the role of the Game Master (GM) who crafts the adventure and controls the world in which it is set. The other players take on the roles of fictional characters within that world, describing—and occasionally rolling dice to resolve the outcomes of—the actions of their characters.

For a quick look at The Magnus Archives Roleplaying Game, download our free primer. It introduces the Cypher System, and offers a glimpse of what you'll find in the depths of the Magnus Institute archives, including a few examples of characters, entities, and items you might encounter in your research.

Click here to download the free primer!



In addition to the standard The Magnus Archives Roleplaying Game, this campaign is funding a range of accessories and game aids that make your tabletop experience that much more compelling, fast-playing, and fun. Many of these items are limited-edition, created especially for this crowdfunding campaign.
Limited Deluxe Edition of The Magnus Archives Roleplaying Game: This stunning limited edition will have deluxe features such a vegan leather cover or similar, perhaps with foil stamping and debossing and a special edge treatment, plus satin bookmarks—all wrapped in a reversible dust jacket so you can choose your favorite cover design. We've made multiple upgrades to this edition through stretch goals. At the Entity pledge level, your copy is autographed by the real Jonathan Sims, and Monte Cook, designer of the game.
Player's Guide: This convenient softcover is handy for introducing players to the game, creating characters, and referencing often-used information without passing the corebook around the table. It’s an inexpensive way to give everyone in the game easy access to the most-needed content of the corebook, without purchasing a second copy of the full game.

Character Portfolios: A game with such rich background evokes characters equally vibrant and deep. These character portfolios, which are typically around 24 pages, do the job of a character sheet, but also give you room for notes, sketches, and details. You can keep a campaign journal, make maps and location notes, jot down details about people and creatures you encounter, or flesh out your character’s backstory and relationships.

Exclusive Dice Set with Book Safe Presentation Box that Doubles As a Dice Tray: These handsome, high-quality dice are specially designed for The Magnus Archives Roleplaying Game. The Cypher System uses four dice—a d20, percentile dice, and a d6—and these are marked for special Cypher System results. The set comes in a stunning presentation box reminiscent of a Leitner tome, complete with a debossed faux-leather cover. Even better: the velvet-lined interior doubles as a dice tray!.

Leitner Bookplates: This set of 12 self-adhesive bookplates identifies items from the library of Jurgen Leitner. Use them to create immersive props, to put an eerie stamp on your game books, or simply as a fun way to add an element of creepiness to any book in your collection.
Early Access: The Entity pledge level includes early access to digital files as the game nears the end of its development phase, so that you can create characters and launch your adventures or just enjoy exploring the game early. You’ll also be invited to give feedback, but you’re not required to do so.
A Guest for Mr. Spider: Do you dare add an actual Leitner to your bookshelf? This is a full-fledged, physical copy of the book featured in The Magnus Archives and perhaps in your own chilling adventures, if you dare read it! It’s available as an add-on, or in an upgraded version as part of the Entity pledge level.
XP Deck: In the Cypher System, experience points (XP) are used to advance characters—but they can also be spent for in-game benefits. XP are handed out during play, most commonly when GM intrusions occur, and they can be traded between players as needed. These cards give you a handy physical token to represent XP—a simple but useful tool at the game table.
File Folder Set: The Magnus Institute manages a fair number of documents—and so do gamers! Store and organize your handouts, maps, images of characters, creatures, and artefacts, and other game items; or use them as an element of immersive props to support your adventures. You get a dozen Magnus Institute file folders in this set.

Playmat: In the Cypher System, players roll all the dice. And there aren’t a great many tables or charts a GM needs to reference during play. So many gaming groups prefer an alternative to the traditional GM screen, one that removes the barrier between GM and player. This large playmat puts useful information out where everyone can see it, and the pleasant fabric surface with rubberized backing gives you a great die-rolling surface. With striking artwork, it makes an atmospheric centerpiece for your game!

Prop Set: Great props really bring your game to life. Imagine handing the players an actual Breekon and Hope bill of lading when they investigate that strange shipment mentioned in a recent statement. Or a business card found in the files of another case. This set includes things like old letters and pages torn from long-lost books, forms, business cards, invitations, menus, signs, handbills, posters, letterhead, brochures, postcards, train and theatre tickets, and more, all filled with mysteries, clues, and potential plot hooks.




You can select add-ons once you've backed this campaign. Once you're a backer, the Add-Ons tab appears at the top of this page; click it for more information on these items.



Here's the expected delivery timeline for this campaign's rewards. The world is still experiencing a lot of post-COVID upheaval in supply chains and freight transit, so we're adjusting this timeline to allow for slippage. We may be able to beat some of these dates, but there's also a chance we may see unanticipated production or shipping delays. We appreciate your flexibility!
November 2023 (as soon as we close the pledge manager): The Weird, Your Best Game Ever, NPC Deck, GM Intrusion Deck. March 2024: Playtest and early access. Late 2024: The Magnus Archives Roleplaying Game. Following the Corebook: Character portfolios, GM campaign journal, and similar items/



The Amazing Team Behind The Magnus Archives Roleplaying Game. Monte Cook Games has been publishing highly praised, award-winning, innovative RPGs since 2012, including lines such as Numenera, Invisible Sun, No Thank You, Evil!; Stealing Stories for the Devil, and of course the Cypher System. We pride ourselves on works that are imaginative, fun, easy to play and GM, and beautiful—and crowdfunding campaigns that, for over a decade now, have consistently delivered big and on time. Legendary TTPRG designer Monte Cook has written or contributed to literally hundreds of products. He was a codesigner of D&D 3rd Edition, and designer of HeroClix, Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil, Ptolus, Arcana Evolved, a number of Planescape products, Numenera, Invisible Sun, The Darkest House, the Cypher System, Stealing Stories for the Devil, Call of Cthulhu d20, Monte Cook’s World of Darkness, a whole bunch of d20 stuff, and—going way back—products for Rolemaster and Champions. He’s also written fiction, comics, and non-fiction, including Your Best Game Ever, a guide for RPG players for making every game session awesome! In addition to voicing The Archivist, Jonathan Sims is the co-creator and mind behind The Magnus Archives and the forthcoming Magnus Protocol. He’s a writer, performer, and game designer whose work primarily focuses on the macabre, the grotesque, and the gentle touch of creeping dread. His other works include the story-game design duo MacGuffin & Co., acclaimed horror novels such as Family Business and Thirteen Storeys, and some of your favorite nightmares. He lives in the UK with the two best cats and an overwhelming backlog of books that he really should get round to. Alexander J Newall is a director, writer, actor, producer and CEO of Rusty Quill. As well as founding Rusty Quill as an entertainment production company and podcast network, he has directed and GM'd Rusty Quill Gaming, directed and performed as Martin Blackwood in The Magnus Archives, and is executive producer of all of Rusty Quill's content, including Stellar Firma and Trice Forgotten. Alex is constantly spinning up new creative projects, which you can follow on his Twitter account, or on the Rusty Quill website. Bruce R. Cordell, Shanna Germain, Sean K. Reynolds, and Dominique Dickey round out MCG’s design group. Our mighty team also includes Art Director Bear Weiter and Graphic Designer Javier Beltrán, who make our products beautiful. Managing Editor Teri Litorco wrangles the words and projects. Jennifer Walls, Tammie Ryan, and Charles Ryan interact with our fans and customers and keep the business rolling along smoothly. Our team is small, but we deliver big!


Here’s the gist: shipping and global logistics are disrupted everywhere. That said, working within our own warehouse and with trusted global fulfillment partners in Europe and Australia, we do everything in our power to get your rewards into your hands as quickly, reliably, and affordably as possible.

All backers pay for shipping when they redeem their rewards. We offer a variety of domestic and international shipping methods from which you can choose. As of this writing, basic domestic shipping is $9 per shipment, but we do not control future postal rates, so that cost is subject to change. International shipping is based on postal and shipping rates at the time of the order, and varies by destination and shipment weight.

For detailed information on shipping, visit our Crowdfunding Reward Fulfillment page.

International Shipping

International shipping is expensive. We don’t have any control over shipping rates, and we can’t accurately predict what shipping rates will be at the time of fulfillment. To comply with international law, we cannot mark your reward as a gift or as a zero-value item. Here are details that apply to your region:

  • Canadian Backers: Your rewards will be fulfilled by our shipping center in the United States. You will be responsible for import duties, taxes, and brokerage fees (if applicable). Please note that our books are printed in Canada, and thus are not subject to import duties; however, they are subject to sales tax (GST/PST/HST). Items not manufactured in Canada, such as dice and decks of cards, are subject to import duties and GST/PST/HST.
  • The Rest of the Americas, the South Pacific, and Asia: Your rewards will ship from our shipping center in the United States. You will be responsible for import duties, taxes, and brokerage fees (if applicable).
  • The EU and UK: Your rewards will be fulfilled by our shipping center in the UK. UK and EU backers will not pay import duties and taxes.
  • Australia and New Zealand: Your rewards will be fulfilled by our shipping center in Australia. Backers in Australia and New Zealand will not pay import duties and taxes.

This project is customs friendly. Rewards bound to the United Kingdom, European Union, United States, Australia, and New Zealand will be delivered duty free or duty paid. No extra custom charges!

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